By MADEL R. SABATER/Manila Bulletin
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) expressed concern on Saturday on Filipinos continuously being used as “drug mules” following the recent arrest of three Filipinas in Hong Kong and Macau.
According to the Philippine Consulate-General (PCG) in Macau, a Filipina was arrested last June 26 for allegedly smuggling almost one kilogram of drugs hidden in three pairs of sports shoes in her luggage.
Consul-General to Macau Renato Villapando said the DFA is concerned with the increasing number of Filipinos serving sentences in Macau for drug trafficking. Currently, 17 Filipinos are detained in Macau.
He stressed that the DFA will help the Filipina who was recently caught in Macau for alleged drug trafficking.
In Hong Kong, two Filipinas were also arrested in separate occasions for alleged drug trafficking.
The first of the two Filipinas was arrested last June 2 at the Hong Kong International Airport after authorities allegedly found 1,040 grams of heroin hidden inside the soles of three pairs of shoes in her suitcase. The estimated street value of the drugs was HK$930,000 or US$119,500.
The second Filipina was arrested last June 24 for taking in 876 grams of heroin with an estimated street value of HK$780,000 (US$100,300). She is currently confined at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and will later be taken for custodial remand to the Tai Lam Center for Women.
“The Consulate-General will ensure that these Filipinas will have legal representation in all their court appearances and will continue to monitor their cases,” Philippine Consul-General to Hong Kong Claro Cristobal said.
It will be recalled that the DFA has been warning Filipinos against becoming drug couriers.
In China, drug trafficking of 50 grams or more of illegal drugs is punishable by 15 years in prison, life imprisonment, or death. In Muslim countries, drug trafficking is punishable by death, according to Shariah law.